As a proud Janeite who has watched endless adaptations of the Regency Romance Queen’s work, I always appreciate a new Austen adaptation when I can find one. Over the years, I’ve found some fun twists on the classic novels from Youtube series to Bollywood adaptations. Here’re seven fun adaptations that Jane Austen fans are sure to love!
7 More Adaptations for Jane Austen Fans To Love
(in no particular order)
#1 Aisha 2010
Aisha thinks she’s a talented matchmaker and foolishly messes with all her friends lives eventually creating a mess out of their love-lives and her own.
Based on Jane Austen’s beloved Emma, Aisha is best described as a Bollywood version of Clueless. The story is modernized in a fun way and the key elements of the original novel shine through. It has a great rom-com feel and I enjoyed the friendship/romance between Aisha (Emma) and Arjun (Knightley). And it’s only 2 hours long (compared to the usual 3 hours for Bollywood films), so this is a nice quick watch for all you Jane Austen fans out there!
RELATED: Four Films Every Austen Addict Should Watch
#2 Emma Approved 2013
Emma Woodhouse is a competitive young woman who runs a matchmaking and life counseling business with her bestie Alex Knightley. Emma has a lot of ideas about how things and people’s lives should be done. Will she do more harm than good?
Riding off the success of YouTube sensation The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, Pemberley Digital, a production company that uses YouTube to air new adaptations of classic novels, gave us a new rendition of Jane Austen’s Emma. While understandably Emma Approved gets compared to Lizzie Bennet Diaries at times, I totally loved this fun, hilarious and sweet story. All the best parts of Emma are wonderfully retold in this YouTube series. Alex and Emma have awesome chemistry and sell the romance effortlessly. Jane Austen fans are sure to love this one.
#3 Death Comes to Pemberley
Six years after Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth’s marriage, Mr. Wickham is accused of committing murder right in Pemberley Woods. Everyone in the Pemberley house struggles as dark secrets are unearthed while the case is investigated.
While I seriously love remakes and retellings, I’m not usually a fan of authors trying to create straight sequels to classics as their own work is often vastly different than the original writer. Jane Austen’s work has had her large share of continuing stories, so I approached the BBC adaptation with caution. I was very surprised by a very engaging and well-acted story that felt very Jane Austen-y. Everyone seemed well chosen for their roles – I particularly liked Matthew Rhys as Mr. Darcy. Anna Maxwell Martin wasn’t my exact idea of Elizabeth Bennet, but as usual her acting was excellent. I liked the addition of Georgiana’s love story. Definitely worth a watch for period drama lovers and Jane Austen fans!
RELATED: Becoming Jane (2007) – A Gorgeous Period Drama About Jane Austen
#4 Becoming Jane
Jane Austen meets a charming yet scandalous young man who sweeps her off her feet. Can love be possible for people who are so vastly different?
A loose biographical film about Jane Austen herself, there is very little factional accuracy in the film. The movie boasts a great cast with the lovely Anne Hathaway as Jane, James McAvoy as the roguish Tom Lefroy, and Anna Maxwell Martin as Jane’s sister Cassandra. The look of the movie is gorgeous. I enjoyed the romance, though I personally found the second half more entertaining than the first. Definitely an excellent period drama even with its very fictionalized story.
#5 Scents and Sensibility
Elinor and Marianne are living the good life until their father is arrested for swindling money. The girls venture out into the work world – Elinor as a janitor, Marianne as a copy girl. Despite their reduced situation, romance might just be around the corner for these girls.
SunWorld Pictures put together this cute and very cheesy remake of Sense and Sensibility. The production company does family entertainment that goes straight to DVD or airs on television, so the quality here is on the level of a basic Hallmark TV movie. While there’s nothing deep here, the movie had a lot of cute moments and I enjoyed the retelling of Elinor and Marianne set in a modern storyline.
#6 From Prada to Nada
Nora and Mary lived in the lap of luxury – until their father unexpectedly died and left them with nothing. They move in with their aunt who lives a more modest lifestyle. Nora, the hard-working sister focuses on getting a job at a law firm where she meets a cute, sweet lawyer while Mary finds herself falling for the mysterious affluent Rodrigo Fuentes.
This is really a cute, fun redo of the story that brings a modern spin to it. Alexa Vega (Spy Kids) stars as the pretty, materialistic Mary (Marianne) with Camilla Belle playing Nora (Elinor). Camilla was my favorite in the movie as the studious, independent Nora, struggling with whether or not to follow her heart or her head. Her romance with Edward was just so sweet. The movie is rated PG-13 for mild language, brief drug use and a brief sexual scene (a shot is shown of a couple in bed, covered in sheets with no nudity).
#7 Bride and Prejudice
Lalita’s matchmaking mother is intent on getting her four daughters married. Just as Lalita’s sister Jaya and Balraj fall in love, Lalita must deal with the conceited, annoying Will Darcy, Balraj’s American friend. Can these two unlikely people from different cultures become a real life match?
Pride and Prejudice meets Bollywood! Starring the gorgeous Aishwarya Rai Bachchan as Lalita (Elizabeth Bennet), this movie delivers a musical twist on Jane Austen’s arguably most popular novel. The book translates well on screen with all the key story components intact. The film has a fun cheesy rom-com vibe that made it an enjoyable 2-hour watch. Also stars Martin Henderson as Mr. Darcy and well-known TV actors Daniel Gillies (Elijah in The Vampire Diaries/The Originals) as Wickham and Naveen Andrews (Sayid in Lost, Jafar in Once Upon A Time in Wonderland) as Balraj/Bingley.
Have you seen any of these adaptations? Loved them or hated them? Or perhaps all you Jane Austen fans know of an “obscure” Jane Austen rendition! Let me know in the comments!
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11 thoughts on “7 More Adaptations for Jane Austen Fans To Love”
I’d heard of ‘from Prada to Nada’ but had no idea it was Jane Austen inspired! Will definitely have to watch it now. Great list 😀
Thanks Catherine! Hope you have fun watching! 😀
Very interesting list Faith. I loved Aisha, specially the aloof sensible Arjun and crazy Aisha. Becoming Jane had such a sad ending..sigh.. am looking forward to watching Death Come to Pemberly.
Thanks, Rhea! Becoming Jane’s ending was pretty sad… however I expected as much, since Jane never marries in real life (and the movie couldn’t stray that much from reality, hehe). Death Comes to Pemberley is well worth the watch! Hope you enjoy! 😀
“Bride and Prejudice” is one of my all-time favorite contemporary Austen re-tellings (it never ceases to make me smile) and I also think “From Prada to Nada” is cute. “Emma Approved” wasn’t a favorite early on, but it did grow on my the more I watched it. 🙂
Bride and Prejudice is totally cute and fun. It’s always cool to me when someone pulls off a successful retelling of a classic. 😉
I agree with both of you about “Bride and Prejudice!” Rissi, that’s good to know about “Emma Approved;” though I have problems with “Emma” at times (I’m not sure why, I love “Clueless!”).
Awesome list, Faith! I’ll add “Scents and Sensibility” and “Prada to Nada” to my list 🙂
‘From Mansfield with Love’ is another YouTube vlog adaptation. It’s not as sleek and polished as Emma Approved, but I loved it.
Cool! I’ll have to look it up! Thanks for sharing. 😀
“From Mansfield with Love” was a lot of fun! I loved it as well 🙂
Thank you for putting together such an awesome list! I completely agree with everything you said concerning Death Comes to Pemberley (Matthew Rhys in particular really blew me away; I LOVED seeing their version of the Darcy’s after marriage, and his Fitzwilliam is, in my opinion, even swoonier than Colin Firth’s!).
While Scents and Sensibility was a relatively enjoyable piece of fluff, I have to say I was not all that impressed with it. From Prada to Nada, on the other hand, I was only so-so about after my first watch, but then when I watched it a second time for some weird reason I fell absolutely in love with it, Nora and Edward’s adorable interactions a MAJOR reason why, of course 🙂
I have yet to see Aisha, but Emma Approved will forever be one of my top two favourite versions of Emma; everything about it just worked so well, most importantly the crucial chemistry between the actors playing Emma and Alex, who by the way, are dating in real life! I just love that their first kiss was when Emma and Alex kissed for the first time as well…really made that scene sing with authenticity, though I personally wouldn’t want my first kiss to be quite so public!